Junior football fixtures now in danger

THE FUTURE of football for younger age groups is in doubt after Shetland Junior Football Association failed to raise a full committee at its annual general meeting on Monday night.

According to the association unless the situation is resolved at a forthcoming emergency meeting later this month there will be no formal league football at any age group because among the unfilled posts are the three fixtures secretaries for the under-14, under-16 and under-18 age groups.

A spokesman said the meeting was event free until the election of office bearers. The president’s, treasurer’s and secretary’s posts were quickly filled respectively by Irvine Burgess, Brian Groat and Brian Johnston, who held them last year, but the position of vice-president and the key posts of fixtures secretaries for the different age groups raised no takers from those in attendance.

Mr Burgess stressed the importance of the situation to the club representatives in attendance.

He said: “Unless we fill these crucial positions we face a summer with no organised football for these three age groups.”

Outgoing vice-president and former president Jim Grant said: “The answer lies with the teams, with the coaches and parents of the boys and girls. Some of them are going to have to take responsibility and volunteer.”

On the night the only post contested was that of under-18 coach, where current incumbent Derrick Bradley and his assistant Neil Moncrieff were successful by an 8-6 vote over Richie Smith and Peter Moncrieff, who were attempting to move up from the lower age group level.

The spokesman said: “The association had set up a system over the past five years that allowed the progression of representative age group coaches up through the age groups if they so wished.

“But a counter proposal from the floor saw the committee lose out as the meeting voted to go against that model and prevented Richie Smith taking over as coach in favour of Derrick Bradley.”

The spokesman said it now looked as if all the age group coaches would have to be elected every year from now on.

The emergency general meeting has been set for 19th November where the remaining four vacant posts will have to be filled if organised youth football is to continue next summer, he added.


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